tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC October 19, 2013 7:00am-9:01am PDT
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good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. after weeks of republicans making a series of desperate plays to score wins, the democrats unwilling to give a single inch of ground and with the clock running down on the united states deadline to repay its financial obligations, game over, an 11th-hour vote in the house of representatives wednesday approved a senate plan to raise the debt ceiling and finally reopen the government after 16 long days of being out of business. president obama made it official with his signature just after midnight on thursday. and waking up the morning after the news of the night's big event, everyone really just wanted to know one thing -- what's the final score? because if americans understand nothing else about the events of the last few weeks, we've all been watching a big bill penalty kill game. now that it's all over we want to know the answers to the two biggest questions on everyone's mind after game day -- who won and who lost?
unfortunately, these political news guys do love nothing more than a good politics/sports analogy. we were more than happy to blige. wherever you turned for your news on thursday, it was hard to miss a final tally of who emerged victorious and who shrunk away in defeat vowing to fight another day. topping everyone's loser list was the republican party. the gop limped off the field of play, broken by a rift between traditional republican moderates and the ultraconservative tea party minority. and battered by american who is believe they are at most mostly to blame for the deeply unpopular government shutdown. now, of course, no one on their team took a bigger "l" than captain of the team house speaker john boehner, who couldn't even manage to corral his players into a hud toll agree on the game plan, not to mention letting himself get upstaged by a rookie, senator ted cruz, who emerged as a winner only because he was playing a completely different game, one where winning is
measured in fund raising dollars and tea party popularity. now, americans aren't exactly in love with the democratic party either but they can still put a "w" on the board if for no other reason than such a big republican loss gives democrats a win by default. senate majority leader harry reid gets an nch nch award for holding together a strong team in the senate giving his party some backbones by sticking to his refusal to make concessions and making the final drive on the deal that finally got passed. from the playing field through all of this is democratic team captain, president obama. he mostly watched from the sidelines, taking an occasional, you know, trash-talking opportunity for the opposition while congress got their jerseys dirty on the field. the president can claim a win because obama care and his approval ratings emerged from the fray without so much as a scratch. now, as a football fan, i understand the need for there to be a clear winner and loser in the game, some decisive moment
to bring clarity and closure to all the chaos and conflict. but i want to rewind the game tape just a bit to a time before we called this political game. because last week did i learn a lesson, a lesson i just choked steve kornacki for, and it's a lesson that five seconds, in those five seconds complicated my perspective on the last two weeks. there i was, minutes before the final play of the nfl shutdown between my beloved new orleans saints and those new england patriots, all ready to gloat over the patriots' loss and the saints unblemished 6-0 record! after all, the numbers on the board made it pretty clear that this would be ending with one minute left in the game. the saints were up 27-23. who they say going to beat them saints? turns out we got the answer to that. in game's final five seconds,
just enough time for trinidad and tobago to throw a 17 -- okay, i'm not going to cry -- a 17-yard touchdown and give the saints a heartbreaking loss. and that's what happens when you rush to declare a runner prematurely. you might miss out on the real loss coming your way, the drama of the government shutdown and the debt default may have played out like a political contest between democrats and republicans, but the economic impact on america, the real loser, was not a game. our economic recovery just got a little slower thanks to $24 billion slight shaved off the american economy by the government shutdown, including $1.3 billion lost in government services, $152 million per day lost in travel spending, $76 million lost each day the national parks were shut down, $217 in daily losses in federal and contractor wages, just in washington, d.c. alone. and while the last-minute legislation managed to keep the full credit of the united states intact, it's clear that the world has lost faith in our
economic integrity. just take a look at these international headlines. america's global reputation for sound, risk free, fiscal policy undermined by the new perception that we are willing to throw it all away on a political game. and what's worse? the deal to end this manufactured crisis creates deadlines for three more in the next four months. so the game isn't over. we are just in a time-out. joining me now, carmen wong ulri ulrich, host of "marketplace money" on american public media, josh vivens from the economic policy institute and author of "everybody wins except for most of us," andre gillespie, political science professor at emery university and author of "the new black politician." and kristin anderson, vice president of the winston group in washington, d.c., based opinion research and political communications firm. thanks to all of you for being here. >> thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> i want to take a look for a
moment at what the actual resolution said, carmen, and sort of what it takes us to now in terms of setting these additional deadlines. we are still going forward with a resolution that at this point is going to have us, you know, needing to once again do this whole battle. how much did the economy -- how badly did the economy lose in this game? >> those numbers are the tip of the iceberg. using the game analogy, think of consumers as the fan. there's what the people in charge say. they're the fans. they're just watching us. we are a consumer-driven economy. the consumeer, the fans, are actually in charge, and the holidays are coming and they have lost a tremendous amount of confidence in the system, in the economy. they're going to feel it. they're going to feel it for months, maybe years. we should have come out of this recession stronger by now, and we haven't, because of all this that's happening. the fans are saying you know what, we're not going to spend. we're not going to buy tickets
to this game. we're finished. this holiday season is going to be really interesting. >> we're only funded through january 15th. debt ceiling is only raised till february 7th. on the back end of the -- right, the holidays. in "the new york times," in this article about the damage done, "the economic damage from obstruction and extortion didn't start when the gop shut down the government. on the contrary, it's been an ongoing process dating back to the republican takeover of the house in 2010 and the damage large. unemployment would be far lower than if the house majority hadn't done so much to undermine the recovery." we've been focus on this element of the game, this quarter of the game, but krugman is saying this is a much longer-term set of damage that's occurred. >> instead of game i almost want to think slide show for the last couple weeks. it distracts us from the very long destruction of the economy that we've done taking unprecedented historic austerity in the past two or three years.
the popular notion that spending has increased a lot under the obama administration could not be more historically wrong. compare this recovery to every other recovery since world war ii and government spending is far, far beneath any other recovery. to put it really crassly, if we spent like reagan did during his economic recovery, we'd have about 5 million, 6 million jobs in the economy today more, we'd be fully recovered if we spent at the normal historic average. >> and as the average of the sort of conservative standard there, part of where i want to come to you, because on the question of polling and particularly polling with conservatives or with republicans, this notion that the president has exploded the national debt, that spending is out of control does feel to me like it's a widely excessive belief even if, in fact, what we see empirically is a quickly declining deficit. >> we don't see a declining national debt. and that's the number that people focus on. you keep hearing the number that 17 trillion is the new benchmark.
far lot of folks that number sounds incredibly scary, and so we were talking act how confident people feel in the u.s. economy. if you're not an economist, they hear that 17 trillion number and say not only am i concerned about this christmas but christmas 20 years from now. how is our country going to get out of this? there's deep concern for the direction of the country. at the end of this shutdown i've seen numbers that are historic lows for the number of americans who think the country is on the right track and that deep concern doesn't necessarily have a strong ideology to it. it's a sense of i feel like we're drowning. >> on the one handle i agree with you, but it doesn't seem ideologically positioned in part because on the left we conceded somehow that deficit was more important than growth. and i wonder if that was -- as long as we gave them the first ten yards insed of making the argument we need the big stimulus, deficit is shrinking. right? the deficit has been shrinking pretty massively in part because
of the austerity measures. >> there are a couple things to consider here. one, people think about the national economy and think about their personal economies. >> a bad way to think about it. >> and so because of that, it's difficult to try to explain to people that debt is good. i think also people misunderstand the sources of our debt and think china owns everything. no, it's our savings bonds. when i buy those for my nieces for their birthdays or birth, i'm contributing to that debt and i expect the return on that later and they'll get that 27 years from now. i think if people really understood politics and understood how a national economy works, they might be more comfortable. i think it's largely a framing issue. >> some people do understand that debt is important in their own lives. take frips americans that take out a mortgage on their house. they know they can't necessarily fork over the hundreds of thousands of dollars right off the bat. i think real question is what we're spending, what we're taking this mortgage out on, is it a worthwhile capital investment in our country that's going to be lasting or something
else? >> when we e come back, we'll talk more about that. this claim that we haven't spent enough, haven't taken on a big enough mortgage in order to be a real investment. so stay right there. the other piece i want to talk about that was part of this whole shutdown is of course obama care. and in fact the shutdown may have been the best thing to have happened to it.
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perhaps the best thing that could have happened to the launch of obama care was republicans' decision to shut down the government on the very same day, because the shutdown completely overshadowed the other big headline of the week, that the rollout of president obama's new health coverage plan was kind of a mess.
the glitchy healthcare.gov website prevented millions from signing up and logging on on the federal exchanges and the site has been sending confusing information to companies about insurer who is did manage to get enrolled. the default didn't happen so, plenty of room on the front page for everyone to see obama care's struggles. i want to come back. it does feel like this is the winning and losing piece. on the one hand, obama care is winning at that moment, but will now the tea party have another chance to win and forget about this whole shutdown situation that happened. >> you know, it's a good question. i do think it's been a huge favor for the rollout of obama care to have this distraction. there's something ironic here, too. the tea party goes after obama care and the same people who claim they care about deficits and debt, to the degree there is a valid concern at all about debt in this country, it is in the long run and entirely driven by our dysfunctional health system, which the aca set out to
reform. i think it will do a lot of good. in the meantime, in the past three years there's been a huge slowdown in projected health care cost growths, which future deficits look much better than years ago so it's hilarious this is the one reform, the people who claim they're obsessed about debt wanted to kick it away. >> let me ask you about this because we have talked several times on this show sort of about the administration fumbling on the public discourse about obama care. on the one hand, you do need to make the individual argument about how this is good for your family. but why not a stronger position on that big economic argument? this is good for the country. even if you are on the kind of deficit hawkish side. >> you know, it's a great question. i think they tried a little early on, like back in 2010, when people talked about obama care. there's a lot of talk about bending the cost curve down. >> that's a sexy way to sell your program. >> i think they got the lesson that that doesn't really move people that well.
what moves people is telling them the you lose your job you'll still be covered, you won't be scrambling and we'll help the people who are too poor, too unlucky, too vulnerable to get coverage on their own. >> that's part of what you said, used the "p" word, poor. because that's part of what others latch onto and say, see, they need to pull themselves up from their bootstraps and pay and get a job with benefits. and there is such a disconnect in terms of how we help the underprivileged and in terms of the information. so going back to what we talked about, who's getting what kind of information, in fact, the small business argument, totally moot, because 96% of small businesses are actually smaller. they're not going to have to get this coverage. right? then all of the ones who have to have coverage, over 90% already do. so it's a percentage of a percentage of small business that will have to do something about this but that's not the reality. >> and yet the fire's going to continue. we saw jim demint say in "the
wall street journal" that they are going to continue to fight this battle. right? and in fact, so jim demint is saying we are not going to back down on obama care, that even after this whole thing we're going to keep coming after it. does the -- do the website problems which are probably mostly technical in nature create an argument that is more systemic in nature for demint and others to keep coming after it? >> i think they'll try to leverage it, which is why, even though i agree with addressing immigration reform, i think the website technicality issue is probably something that needs to be addressed first. >> fixing the website is the first order of business. >> that should be. if you want to blame it on the fact that somebody was furloughed and couldn't work on it, that's fine. one of the things that gets me about this whole discussion is as a social scientist, i'm used to experimentation. experimentation is a bad word. once you let the process go and once the people have spoken and congress has weighed in and the president has signed a bill, you put a policy into effect, and then you judge whether or not it's good or bad, and if it's
bad then you change it. the fact they're trying to preempt this is troubling. i think that in many ways it's anti-intellectual to do it that way. >> that notion of empirical evidence and sort of pausing as we go forward, the part of what i want to talk about as we come back because this is i think for us in part a question about what is governing in this country anymore. so there's the debt and deficit and debt ceiling question, the shutdown question, but also this sort of is this now we now govern? josh, thanks for joining us today. up next, we'll keep talking about this question of how we do politics, specifically the politics of persecution, when losing is winning and why we may all be on cruise control for some time to come. [ male announcer ] this is claira. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for her, she's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. [ claira ] after the deliveries, i was okay. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again.
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political shutdown is tea party. in the latest poll released this week from the pew research center, the tea party is less popular now than they've ever been before with nearly half the public give them the thumbs down. what if looking like losers is all a part of the tea party strategy to win? the idea of the tea party as a persecuted, embattled minority standing up against the big government goliath was certainly a winning line with the audience at last week's ultraconservative values voters summit. congresswoman michele bachmann milked it for all it was worth. >> this is the time to fight! this is our moment for poster y posterity! and i thank god that we finally have the will to stand up, take on the progressive president, and stand for what is good and righteous and true! it's a battle of our time! >> wow. but there's no doubt that being on a losing team has actually
been a big win for senator ted cruz, who in the last three months has made a 27% leap in popularity with his tea party base. joining the panel now is democratic congressman hakeem jeffries of new york. i needed you here, congressman, because i just -- with everything that's happening, where you work seems really mysterious and intense to me. and i just want to ask, like, inside, on the floor, with your colleagues, are people -- are the republicans who are at this moment spinning it as a win, do they legitimately believe that or is that just spin? >> i think from the tea party's standpoint there are some who might actually believe that this is a successful effort that they undertook. . in, what was very interesting is that when john boehner came into the room to indicate that he was going to put the senate bill on the house floor, he received a standing ovation. now, the pundits had suggested that this may be a moment where john boehner's speakership would
be put into jeopardy as a result of him conceding defeat. but in reality the fact that he received a standing ovation i think suggests that there's this mind-set amongst some that they fought the good fight, that they'll live to fight another day. now, you know, the american people were the real victors in terms of the reopening of the government, even though they had to withstand a $24 billion hit. >> right. >> i think governance by extortion was the loser here as a concept and hopefully we won't see that any further. but there's a real alamo mentality amongst the tea party and some in the republican house and that alamo mentality leads them to believe that perhaps this was a victory before they fought hard. >> that alamo mentality is a nice way of framing it, gives us a historical narrative. when you look at the headline from today's "new york times," it tells us that ted cruz is actually more popular in texas, right so, texans are sticking with cruz despite the defeat in washington, and if you look at the national review headline, they're saying it's mitch
mcconnell who's the one in trouble, that they're going to put -- the conservatives are going to put big money behind mcconnell's primary challenge. on the one handle you have on the floor, right, a standing ovation for the speaker, but these headlines tell me that there's a group for whom this feels like a win. >> there is a group for whom this feels like a win. there's an interesting guide on the right where you have some who would say -- i think the quote is i'd rather have 30 really conservative senators than have 51 where some of them are a little pushy if you will, and i put myself in the camp where i'd rather have 51 or 60 who sort of put on the jersey of my team even with if they're not with me all of the time. but this is a real divide. what's fascinate, though, is there's all this conversation around did ted cruz win, has the republican party been taken over by this far right-wing element. if you look, for instance, at what the republican primary electorate looks like, let's take a look at a state like
south carolina, not a republican state by any stretch of the imagination. the republican elect cat was 36% very conservative, 32% somewhat conservative, 32% moderate or liberal. really this very conservative group only makes up a little of a third of the primary electorate in a really red stat state. it's that somewhat conservative that's the real center of gravity. i think we'll see as we come upon these new deadlines and worry are we going to watch these same movies over and over again, some of the conservative groups will say i don't like the affordable care act but i don't know if i want to do that again. i think the cal lags will be different. there will be some that say let's keep fighting again and again. they think the political pressure will be different on democrats the second time arnold, but i think there's a group that doesn't have an appetite. >> the one thing, the tea party is loud and popular and all that, but if the money doesn't flow, the traditional republican funds, right, the big businesses, those guy, they are more likely to be the moderates. right? they're the ones with the
ovations. if the money flows that way, what's going to fuel the tea party beyond that? >> this has been the question that -- the one thing that i always feel like i could sort of rest easy in is whatever the ideological battles on the right or left were, who is really in control of wall street. so that was a thing i felt i could rail against but also felt like, well, but they're only going to allow armageddon to go so far. suddenly, you think when do the republicans become the party that cannot hold this together? that is always the last position to do that. we could see a splinter and have a third-party movement that will end up petering out and they end up all having to come back together again. that's usually been the case with third parties in the united states. since we're right here in october 2013, we're not quite sure exactly what's going to transpire in the next year. i think for democrats in particular, if they want to make hay out of this situation, then they need to develop the frames now and keep on honing it in and honing it in and honing it in if they want to be able to push the
need in certain districts to be able to make some changes. the other thing i would remind people, those who represent big money and don't represent your traditional thinking types of interest, they poor money into elections but they don't always win elections. case in point last year, president obama is still president. you know -- >> yeah, but they took the whole state of north carolina. >> yeah. >> so they lose the presidential election but art pope buys the state of north carolina and generate asset of new policies that could mean come 2016 -- >> that he could have that. the other thing, fou yao look at ted cruz, he had a great fund-raising week. so did alan west after he insulted debbie wasserman schultz. he's not a member of congress, meanwhile. if he keeps this up, sooner or later i think rational voters will vote irrational legislators out of office. >> stay with us because i want to ask you about the reasonable republicans that you work with and whether or not any of them were thinking about, you know, switching sides, beening democrats. [ female announcer ] who are we?
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all right. we have a member of congress at the table, so i want to ask you, congressman, when you see this divide that's going on on the right, it's kind of clearly visible. is there a conversation about that you hear in the hallways about -- and from moderate republicans about how they're going to sort of gain control of their party again after this? >> i think certainly subsequent to the shutdown and its resolution, there are any number of moderate republicans who took to the microphone who publicly said we're going to have to re-evaluate how we perceive we do business in the hours and we have to retake our party. peter king from new york was very vocal throughout the entire process, but as we went from day five to day ten to day 15, you saw any number of republican moderates increasingly vocally
indicating this is a problem, the strategy was a failure and we have to retake control of the house of representatives. now, i think democratic unity was very important throughout this entire process. the white house, leader pelosi, harry reid, members of the rank and file all did a tremendous job. and what we see now is an emerging civil war. i think there are three factions. you have to business faction, which largely includes moderate republicans, you have the tea party faction, which is responsible for the reckless shutdown, and now we're going to see the power of the defense faction, traditionally eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex. >> still in the sequester cut. >> and what's very important to know is that on january 15th, when the next round of sequester cuts take effect, the burden is disproportionately borne by defense, $20 billion for defense, $1.6 billion for nondefense discretionary. that's a significant hit. will the power of the defense industry republicans be able to
take hold, give us an opening to re-evaluate sequestration? >> i this point about defense. i hadn't heard it articulated previously. one of the things i did wonder sort of and whether or not your polling shows or whether or not you have the sense of it on the ground, is whether or not the shutdown changed the minds of any sort of ordinary republican voters about the fundamental question of whether or not government in fact does something for them. right? part of what we kept seeing was people going, wait a minute, that government? i can't go there? is there any point that there may be a shifting ground in terms of the incentive that these lawmakers are facing from their ordinary voters? >> i don't know that it's going to have a long-term impact in that regard. i think that actually what a lot of this debate was about within the republican party was not so much about policy or about the role of government but about tactics, that many of the moderate republicans you're talking about, they don't have a necessarily different view about whether or not the affordable care act is a good idea, but
they have a very different view about what is or is not a smart strategy for changing it or repealing it. what this was is this was a tactical decision. that's where the real friction was on the right. but it's particularly those who are more a tea party faction. they view this as if you oppose the affordable care act, then you had a duty to stand up and fight, fight, fight. so this tactical difference has turned into, you know, trying to make it seem like there's this big policy divide on the right. >> andra, we talked about growing up in virginia. the virginia governor's race is an interesting moment we can sort of see this division happening where ken cuccinelli is running at about a little under 40%, 38%, terry mcauliffe much closer to the 50% mark. looks like mcauliffe not a particularly strong candidate is likely to win because cuccinelli is now painted with that far-right ted cruz brush.
>> i've followed him through his career, viewed as an extremist. he tried to get a tenured professor fired because he didn't like his research, didn't believe in climate change. if you think about things he's done with respect to women's health, they seem to be draconi draconian. my favorite name is cuckoo for cocoa puffs. but when you look at what happens here, even people who are conservative leaning say, you know what, that's a little extreme and sort of to take it back to the shutdown, i was appalled by republican members of congress getting upset that the world war ii memorial was torn down. i'm like you did that. you didn't know that that was a consequence of your actions? >> right. you shut the government, right, and you go and protest the government being shut by standing there at the war memorial. >> yeah. so what is the strategic value of selectively opening certain things that you think will help you win points? if you're going to go in, go all in. and so if i were a democratic media consultant, i would take
that b roll from those events and just play it over and over and over again and hopefully voters would, you know -- >> and this is what republican democracy looks like. >> wall street and the -- >> yeah. i know. >> we can count on both of them. >> wall street and the pentagon, right? you got to figure they'll keep it open. starting monday, new jersey joins 13 other states and washington, d.c., in establishing marriage equality. new jersey's highest court ruled friday same-sex marriages can go forward. while the state appeals, so what we will see is new jersey's new senator elect prortedly plans to begin marrying couples right after midnight on monday. and that is not the only way that cory booker is making history. that story is ahead. first, the man behind a much different and managing shutdown. my "letter of the week" is next. [ woman ] too weak.
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it's one thing to shut down the government. for some people, government sounds evely, even tyrannical. combine it with selectively reopening military death benefits and other popular programs and you might convince people you've done a good thing. but to hold back funds specifically destined and already approved for the education of some of the neediest students all in order to get a better hand in union negotiations, that's a different ball game. this is never okay to take school kids hostage in a political negotiation. and that's why my let they are week is to pennsylvania governor tom corbin. dear governor corbin, it's me, melissa. it's really great of you to release the $45 million to philadelphia schools this week, but it would have been better to have never held it hostage in the first place. philadelphia's 150,000 public school students are suffering enough. the district faces a $300 million shortfall and has only been able to buy needed school
supplies by raising money from the community and private philanthropists. but that $45 million that you withheld, the schools could have opened on time this year without a last-minute $50 million loan taken out by the city's mayor. now, the district can rehire 400 teachers, guidance counselors and other staff members, music, education, and sports will be restored. and fewer students will be packed into classrooms with tiers from different grades. the state of philly's public schools will become slightly less dire, but it could have happened months ago. but for what? you said you wouldn't release the funds until the teachers' union agreed to $103 million in concessions. and they still have it. so you hurt some of the most vulnerable in your state and got nothing out of it. does that sound familiar? are you following the congressional republican model of governance? you saw how that turned out. right? i mean, you should know from experience because your approval rate rgs worse than the
republican party, worse than any other pennsylvania governor in modern history. your office made sure to let philadelphia parents know that your decision to release the $45 million was based on, quote, improvements in the district, which closed 23 schools this summer. you made sure philly's parents knew that your decision had nothing to do with the death of 12-year-old la porsche massey, who died in september after an asthma attack. her family claims that she may still be alive if there had been a nurse at the school to recognize her symptoms and get her medical help. but we may never know what would have happened if there was a nurse there that day. but the case brought our attention, the nation's attention to the sad state of philly's schools and the money will not be used to rehire any of the more than 100 school nurses the district has let go in the past two years because as your administration says, philly meets the minimum allowable by
state law, one nurse per 1,500 students. apparently that's enough. this in a city where 22% of children have had asthma in their short lives and more than half have ended up in the emergency room because of it. it's the highest rate in the state and asthma rates are worse among black children, poor children, and children living in inner cities. governor, open your eyes to the fact that the kids in philly public schools disproportionately black and poor are needier than most. that means they need more, more from you, and not just the bare minimum required. if we want these kids to have a chance of becoming happy, healthy, employeed tax-paying residence of the commonwealth of pennsylvania, shouldn't we acknowledge that they need some more to get there? shouldn't these kids be the last ones who have to suffer from your politics? let me remind you of something that you said this week when you signed a bill to slightly improve the children's health insurance program. you said, and i quote, in
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news of the shutdown had a way of pushing everything else off the front page. if congress hadn't been backing slowly away from the precipice of global economic annihilation on wednesday nigh, it might have been about how they have a new colleague, the one whose election doubled the number of african-americans in the senate, going from one to two. wednesday night, newark mayor cory booker won a special election to fill the seat of frank lautenberg in new jersey after defeating tea party republican steve monegan by almost 11 points. booker told his campaign rally crowd how he plans to approach his new job. >> i heard it all over new jersey, north to south, urban to
suburban to rural, from democrats, independents, and republicans. i heard it from everybody. they all said to me, if we put you in washington, don't go down there to score victories for a party or for politics but go down there to work for people. >> when senator-elect booker goes to work for people in washington, he'll only be the fourth black person elected to the senate to do so in america. ever. and looking at senators who were appointed rather than elected, like current south carolina republican tim scott, this is every african-american u.s. senator that has ever served or been elected. once sworn in, cory booker will make nine total african-american u.s. senators ever as pbs pinchback you see in this graphic won election but never served. shortly after his win, he received a congratulatory call from the last man to be elected to the u.s. senate, president barack obama. and even if obserbservers can't
resist making comparison, booker has made it clear he opportunity want to be thought of as a black senator. watching cory booker navigate the politics of race in america is instructive for a new generation of african-american elected officials. linda carr is co-founder of higher heights for america. a andra, you wrote the book about cory booker, the new black politician. how does the election of mayor booker to senator booker tell us? what does it tell us about where we are right now? >> in many ways it value dates the use of deracialization or de-emphasizing race in order to get elected. he was able to put together a national coalition of donors and volunteers by presenting a racially transcendent type of figure and by being a politician that didn't sort of belie all types of racial categories. very effective but in his early days in newark he had a lot of trouble and a lot of pushback
from people. effectiveness of it depends on what constituency is voting for you, so we know for example that president obama was able to win the seat in illinois but not winning that second congressional district in chicago in part because he faced some of what cory booker faced running. >> the strategy is predicated on the fact for young blacks but it assumes blacks will turn out in record numberings and almost uniformly for black democratic candidates. let's be clear about that. one of the things that is important to know is that recently we have seen instances where black candidates cannot keep the coalition together. when you use the deracialization of the strategy, buyer beware. you can't automatically assume blacks are going to vote for you because you're a black and have a "d" behind your name. >> i like the language of buyer beware. there was a piece in the gri owe that in certain ways reflects
this racial anxiety about cory booker. i want to look at it. his riveting speeches and exploits have enhanced his reputation. he's not demonstrated a strong interest in carrying out the kind of work it takes to transform the entire city beyond the rebuilding of its downtown infrastructure. is this the kind of critique about senator booker -- mayor booker that might follow senator booker now? >> i don't necessarily think so because you are now talking about him governing an entire state versus a city. i mean, i think some of the lessons learned when we look at the case study moving from a local elected to a statewide electorate, someone that can run nationally, is the ability to govern during the position you've been elected to while developing a coalition for which you aspire to be. so i think there was some lessons learned for now senator e elect booker in regards to his national ambitions or statewide ambitions and being able to
understand that he's in the now. i think he did some adjustments in the latter part of this last term for mayor to be in the now and i have some work that i need to do locally, a local-based coalitions that would transcend as he does his statewide runs. >> you talk about the move from the realtively local to the statewide, but it's almost a move from being the executive, fwg mayor, to being in a legislate. what are the kinds of lessons that a freshman senator now may have to learn that you as a new congressman have had to learn in the house? >> for me it was important to recognize that i stood on the shoulders of those that have come before me, the pioneers of the congressional black caucus, charlie rangel, cheryl chisolm, because we can draw strength from their experiences and vision and sacrifice, but it's also important to know that in congress you have to be able to work together to get things
done. >> or not. >> or not. right? there are two models in recent experience of the celebrity senator going in one direction or the other. there was senator hillary clinton, who entered the body with great discretion and worked together to serve others, and it inured to her benefit within the institution. then of course there's ted cruz, on a solo mission. while they may have increased his celebrity, it certainly will have reduced his capacity to get anything done even amongst his republican colleagues. i would assume senator elect booker will follow the hillary clinton model. >> i wanted to make a claymation of senator cruz and senator booker because they have celebrity status and the question of what kinds of techniques they will use. but part of it for senator-elect booker that is different is the question of race, which i want to stick on a bit as we come back, because there is much more oncor rhee booker's election, including how he might reshape
the senate on thegrio.com. up next, why some critics of the president say they're afraid of being labeled. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks.
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[ crashing ] [ male announcer ] when your favorite food starts a fight, fight back fast with tums. heartburn relief that neutralizes acid on contact and goes to work in seconds. ♪ tum, tum tum tum tums! welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. remember this guy? i won't fault you if you have trouble placing him. it's been years since joe the plumber first got then candidate barack obama to say this. >> my attitude is that if the economy is good for folks from the bottom up, it's going to be good for everybody. if you've got a plumbing business, you're going to be better off if you've got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you. and right now, everybody's so
pinched that business is bad for everybody, and i think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody. >> spread the wealth around. remember that? republican presidential nominee john mccain seized on the comment and gave joe the plumber a name, turning him into an "avatar," quote, unquote, main street america. since then, joe the plumber has become an author, a war correspondent, and in 2009 a former republican. yet here he was in 2012 running as a republican unsuccessfully for a congressional seat in his native ohio and backing a different guy for president, herman cain. i remind you of all of this because mr. plumber reposted on his site this week, this blog by conservative radio host and author kevin jackson, who is african-american. yes, that's the headline. america needs a white republican president. it begins, "admit it. you want a white republican president again. admit it, america."
wait until you see where this goes. jackson write, "before you start feeling like you're a racist, understand that you are not." he goes on to assert that ronald reagan's white republican presidency was great for black americans while barack obama's black democratic one has been bad, bad, bad. his central point remains that we could criticize president reagan because he's white while criticizing president obama gets you called a racist. and if that risk has limited the criticism that the president gets, i haven't noticed. anyway, jackson concludes by writing that at least if we had a white president, black people might have a shot of regaining a modicum of respect. oh, yes, if only. now we know that as ludicrous as all that sounds it's hardly an outlier. this is the latest taste of how people, some people, see even some black people might have reacted to having an african-american president. it's not just an issue of an angry blog post or confederate flag showing up in front of the white house as one did last week
during a tea party shutdown protest. the biggest problem is in suggesting that being called racist is worse than the harm of the effects of racism. and this week it was the far right madness of the blog that joe the plumber reposted, but the idea that the president's blackness is an impediment to governing is not restricted to the fringes. every time the left argues that tea party obstruction is caused by having a black president, it's actually a subtle argument that a white president would receive less aggressive opposition, that it would be easier to govern without the barrier of presidential blackness. maybe he'd like to call mr. bill clinton and ask him about that one. joining me, glinda carr, co-founder of higher heights for america, democratic congressman hakeem jeffries of new york, emery professor university andra gillespie, author of "the new black politician," cory booker and the post racial america, and kristen anderson, pollster with
the winston group in washington, d.c. okay. is it racist to disagree with president obama? >> well, recently, it kind of has a racial overtone. what i love about that headline, you know, we want a white republican president, what's missing in that but it's underlying is they're not talking about a white republican woman. they're talking about a we want a white republican man. and looking at the forecast in 2016 that you might have hillary clinton running for president and being a viable candidate that will potentially win, you're now going to then move from a racist undertone critique of a president to a sexist undertone of a president. so you can critique a president or a congressional member, a senator, but you can't be doing it with a racial undertone. overtly or covertly. >> i like what you've done here because you move away -- i mean, the substance, like the motivation for critique, and then there is strategy.
and, you know, my argument has been, oh, no, obstructionism is part of this. right? just like we saw the obstructionism against president clinton. but the strategy is racial because that's the thing that is the weakness for this president. they came after president clinton with what he was week on and right in this case race becomes the thing that can galvanize is the critique of the president. >> apparently joe the plumber didn't get the memo that his 15 minutes of fame were up. beyond that, i think it's important to look at the nature of the criticism and this president has been subjected to a level of disrespect almost unprecedented in modern american history. you've got a sitting member of the house of representatives crying out, you lied during the midst of a joint presidential speech before the united states congress. you've got a governor, jan brewer, from arizona, wagging her finger in the president's face on the airport tarmac. you've got newt gingrich, a former speaker of the house of representatives, accusing him, i
believe it was kenyan anti-colonial behavior. >> yep. >> and you've got, you know, random americans with no credibility calling upon the president to produce his birth certificate. these aren't public policy critiques. these are person ad hominem attacks so it's legitimate to ask the question, what's the motivation? >> it feels to me, for example, like the congressional black caucus also has a difficulty in managing the realities of a black president because normally, cbc could just rail, right, at a president, but in ways here the legitimate policy critiques, right, get connected in our experience of presidential criticism with the birth stuff, with the ugly nasty racial attacks. so you want to be hands off because this president is taking a kind of attack that we haven't seen previously. then it makes it harder to make substantive policy critiques because you don't want to be lumped in with the birthers. >> if you take a lot of people
seriously, that reticence -- >> fred harris in terms of his critiques. i'm sorry. go ahead. >> one of the critiques is black people have not gotten the things they probably would have wanted if they had pushed this president harder. >> but, see, that's why -- i'm sorry. i know this is a little off top on this one, but really, like this president, the notion if you just pushed him harder -- and i think this is my feeling about the part of people can't criticize because they get called racist, i can't imagine a president who's been pushed harder. right? he's got an awful lot of push. >> right. but not necessarily for the issues that certain members of the congressional black caucus care about. so if they really wanted to push the issue of targeted job training programs for inner city youth, then that's something they need to kind of continually raise and not worry about necessarily what the racial consequences are. i agree with you, not all the critique of the president is racial. some of it's substantive. but the problem that the republicans have in particular is one, the republican party has
been as a perceptual disadvantage for almost the last 50 years. that's legitimate. we can't deny that segregation started in 1964 to move away from the democratic party toward the republican party. then we also have to look at the public opinion data. "the new york times" has done it. our colleagues at the university of washington have done it. we can look at people who sympathize with the tea party, probably the most vocal critics of the president, and they tend to harbor higher levels of racial resentment than the average american. hard to disentangle the two. >> that's what i want to ask you from republicans being polled, ordinary republican voters at this point being part of this party, where these kinds of racialized attacks are emerging, does, in fact, paint you as -- i mean, so i'm wondering sort of the extent to which ordinary republican voters feel angst, not because the president is black but because they're in a party with people who are engaged in some pretty vile racialized attacking.
>> i think that there's definitely a big question for republicans about how to you sustain long-term winning elections if your primary strategy is lets win a lot of white voters. there was an article written by ron brownstein, national journal. he went on a campaign and said our goal is to win 60% of white voters, and if we hit that mark we'll be good. and this is the kicker -- this will be the last time anyone tries this. one time too many because that's not what america looks like anymore. the gop needs to make inroads with understanding that america doesn't look like a country club anymore. on the other hand, i am proud of the republican party for some of the steps that they have made. i think that there are certain things like around birthism where i wish people had been more aggressive about calling out and saying that's not okay. but recently, it was about two months ago, there was a disheartening incident in illinois. an exciting young black woman candidate running for congress. erica harris, who used to be miss america. she's running against an
incumbent republican in a primary. no matter who you are, that's going to be a controversial move for the republican establishment. a local republican who just sent out this horrible sexist, racist thing, and i can naj in the past people going, we don't want to be too politically correct, that doesn't reflect us, but let's talk away. this time rice pree vis said no, this doesn't reflect us, let's step down. they need to call people out and say that's not okay. >> a little racial courage. stay right there. we'll talk more about this topic as soon as we get back. when you have diabetes like i do, getting the right nutrition isn't always easy. first, i want a way to help minimize my blood sugar spikes. then, a way to support heart health. ♪ and let's not forget immune support. ♪ but now i have new glucerna advance with three benefits in one.
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he also says of cory, you have to learn to be african-american and we don't have time to train you. all of this is when he's speaking on the record. >> we ask all black children to be educate and they do and we go away. it's sad. >> that was from the documentary "street fight," an early piece about now senator-elect cory booker when he was running for mayor of newark. unsuccessfully the first time. i wanted to ask sort of what sort of new black politicians, right, the new group of elected officials coming now, inheriting the civil rights generation positions, what do you feel are the lessons now learned from the cory bookers and the president obamas of the world? >> well, you know, i think a couple things. o one, it's important to recognize as a result of the struggles of the civil rights generation, opportunities in higher education, on wall street, in the professional sectors across america, were opened up for a new generation of individuals. they either get that education, go on to wall street, work in
finance. some of us have actually chosen to take the education that we benefitted from and our professional experiences and go and work on behalf of the community. i think so we've got to honor and respect the doors that were opened for us, but also recognize in the instance of cory booker, for instance, he'll represent an entire state. now, he should continue to fight hard for the needs of the african-american community who are disproportionately suffering in newark and essex county and camden and others, but he also has to be able to appeal to a broader cross section of communities, even in the district i represent, i have a majority of black population but also eastern european jewish immigrant, they ear important to the community and south asians and latinos and everybody deserves high quality representation. >> so what you just said there to me, andra, is part of, like, my irritation with fred harris' claim, we should have pushed president obama to do more, because i wanted to push every -- like i think there is this thing that happens, as much as we're worried about being called racist if you're on the right and you critique, the
thing i find more racially disstressing is the idea that we would not expect white republican or white democrats to be strong advocates for concerns of people of color. >> i completely agree with you. but i think especially in the era of president obama that a lot of people just assume that he could do it on his own. >> the magical presence of president obama made magical by his blackness, perhaps? >> right, and that's really faulty. i think when people were disappointed, because they had unrealistic expectations what he could do, and they forgot he's a politician like anybody else and he responds to feedback on responds to protest and those are still parts, you know, arrows in the kwimp and they need to be used when groups want things. i think some people thought automatically he was going to be sensitive to them. and, yes, he is sensitive to those issues but no politician acts unless they have an incentive to act and that's where the outside kind of struggle comes in. >> so if this question of outside versus inside struggle as a sort of racial strategy, i wonder about what given what we
are seeing right now with the tea party push. so here you have an ideological group in a political party that desilds to challenge its leaders, challenge its leadership, and to me that doesn't look like precisely the model that we would want to be following. in fact, there may be an inside strategy. i wonder if this new group of african-american politicians coming through with a very different set of practices, having been educated in primarily white institutions, not necessarily coming from a civil rights protest struggle, might teach us something new nu about how to do politics. >> i agree, but the other piece of it, talking about the inside, is we need to build a larger bench of the new black politicians so the notion we need to expand black leadership is not just about running african-americans and historically african-american districts, that cory booker's victory, although he's -- you know, day one he's running for re-election, is an opportunity to show that there is appeal to be able to run african-americans in a majority district but also
run statewide. so there are some good examples. >> i want you to push that one more because it's not just the district, it's also getting enough black women. >> yes. >> right. when we talk about this new bench, that bench also should have more women sitting on it. >> yeah. so there are real tunnels. women make up over 50% of the electorate. so african-american women can logically grow a natural multiracial coalition. so, for example, attorney general kamel la harris in california is a viable candidate to run for governor of california. or you have nina turner in ohio running for secretary of state, for that particular state very important because that is a position that governs over the board of elections. in the section several year wes e need to develop a multipronged
infrastructure to expand black leadership and after that, we believe at higher hights there is an opportunity to elect black women across the country. >> the governor of california and the secretary of state of ohio. that is a different-looking sort of america. glinda carr, kristen, andra, thank you all so much. up next, a powerful, sometimes painful look at education and race. we're going to talk to the filmmakers behind the bold new documentary "american promise." [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets. [ babies crying ] surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission. [ coyote howls ] how about no more surprises? now you can get all the online trading tools you need without any surprise fees. ♪ it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
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you're giving away pie? would you like apple or cherry? cherry. can i top it with oil or cream? excuse me? oil...or cream? definitely cream. [ male announcer ] a slice of pie always sounds better with reddi wip. that's because it's never made with hydrogenated oil. oh, yeah. [ male announcer ] always made with real cream. the sound of reddi wip is the sound of joy. don't be shy! try some p-- shh! bort tabb bort . it's a movie 13 years in the making. filmmakers and husband and wife team michelle stevenson and joe busser chronicled the story of their son, aegis, and his best friend from kindergarten through high school as they attended new york city's elite dalton school. it's a compelling and often painful story of what it means to be a young african-american in an academically exclusive and
racially homogeneous school. take a look at him questioning his father. >> i'm not sure that it works that way. >> guess what, if i was white, then i'd be better off. do you know that's true? >> you asking me? >> yes. >> what do you think? >> yes. well, at this school. >> i'm pleased to welcome to "nerdland" the winners of the special jury prize of the sundance film festival. good morning to all of you. >> good morning. >> let me start by saying thank you, because as the parent of a sixth-grader at a racially homogeneous academically elite school, this has been incredibly
useful to me, to the two of us to watch together. i know why it's valuable to me. why did you want to make this film? >> you want to start that? >> we're filmmakers. we love filmmaking. the initial idea was to make a film that celebrated diversity. we were promised the school would begin to look like the city of new york. we e thought that would happen in that kindergarten class. and so we thought it was worth watching. >> the mood of the film shifts. it starts with the sort of images of shay yana with little boys in kindergarten, sort of happy, then the mood of it becomes more forboding as they get older. >> we actually had picked that school because we were trying to shield our son from the achievement gap in education from black boys. we thought by picking this we would be protecting him from it.
contrary to our thoughts, we ended up right in the thick of it trying to figure it out along the way and kept the camera rolling. >> exactly on that point, i want the listen to your mom talking about this question of the achievement gap as it shows up at dalton in particular. >> white kids have problems in the school, but when the school talks to you it seems to me it's sh-sh, hush-hush and very secretive. but 95% of the black kids have problems in that school. some type of issue. there's something unnatural. there's a huge imbalance, you know? i don't understand that. >> what is your response to what your mother is saying? >> it's true, you know. when you grow up in a school, since i did, since kindergarten, you know, when you go through the stages and you go to the next grade, you don't think
about certain things because you've grown up with these kids and you feel like this is your home. but when you grow up, you realize these things that not everyone perceivious in a certain light that you would like to and that you are supposed to do what you do based on those expectations. >> you left dalton after eighth grade and attended high school at ben kerr in brooklyn. >> mm-hmm. >> very different school. talk to me about those differences. >> it was a very sweet transition, you know, because like i said, you know, i grew up in dalton all my life. but making the move the go to a public school, a predominantly black public school in brooklyn, you know, it was an uplifting experience, you know, being able to be around other people of my race or my ethnicity. and it wasn't just all black people, too, you know, chinese, all types, and i was able to be
comfortable, and the students made you feel comfortable. >> one of my favorites is you and other students from benekerr are in africa and you're sitting around talking about your experiences. what did that mean? >> it meant a lot. when i went to africa i didn't think anything of it except i was going to africa. but when i stepped foot on there, i felt just like magic, this spark, and everything was just vibrant and alive. it made me think what direction am i going. >> i want to come back to the two of you and the challenges you had as parents in trying to make this decision about how to find this balance. and so i want to listen to your son talking about balancing the expectations of race on his basketball team and the expectations of race at dalton. this is when he's quite young.
>> my basketball team, i sometimes get made fun of. they say, oh, you talk like a white boy and stuff. sometimes i change my voice and i go, like, hey, y'all, what's up? or i change my voice. i don't talk like i talk at dalton so they won't make fun of me. i talk slangish or something. i don't talk differently at dalton. i don't get made fun of. i feel like i fit in better at dalton. >> my heart on the table at that part. on the one hand wanting to feel uplifted in racialized communities but also feeling alienated and separated from those communities as well. how did you try to help your son to bridge that? >> we're in there now. we're reliving this watching this film, but we were faced with a dilemma of supporting him academically and balancing that with some social, emotional support. we expected to get that in part
by a large core of african-american students that were not there at that time. they did not really appear at the school until high school. so we have to provide it for him in the community. that attempt to put him in that environment in basketball was an attempt on our part to provide that kind of support. then we encountered another kind of resistance, another kind of issue we had to help him solve. >> but i think ultimately it's really about trying to help our children become more resilient around these issues, around the pressure and experiences that they're going to experience. but also that i think that experience brought him later to be able to be multilingual, the ability to really -- to cope with and live in different environments and respect the people in the different environments. and it's learning another language. it may take time along the way and can be painful but at the
end of it you come out with advantages. >> you're in college here in new york? >> mm-hmm. >> just on a final note here, there was a moment when the two of you asked -- it was about the inauguration of president obama. we've just been talking about president obama. has watching his presidency as a young man made you feel more optimistic or pessimistic about the possibilities of racial engagement in this country? >> well, of course i feel popt mystic but i try to lift things beyond race. free throwing up in dalton, like michele says, you oar able to integrate into two different scenarios. what i learned from dalton is to look past all that. and, yes, obama is something to look forward to and it shows that black people, black young men can do whatever it is they aspire to do. >> but not without cost. >> yes. exactly.
>> yeah. thank you for being here today. thank you for being here today. i know there have been krit kri teaks of your parenting but i have to tell you as a parent of one of these kids i know it is a tough, tough balance and i appreciate the film. >> just wanted to say we're in theaters now. >> yeah. >> we're going nationwide. >> absolutely. folks should see this one. thanks. up next, i'm going to let this statistic sink in. since 1980, there has been one cause of death for children ages 10 to 14 that has gone up 128%. what is it and why? when we come back. we went out and asked people a simple question: how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s.
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she said "i don't give a --" and you can add the last word yourself. >> sheriff grady justice department on tuesday explaining why he arrested a 12-year-old and 14-year-old for felony aggravated stalking. their victim, 12-year-old rebecca ann sedwick, jumped to her death in september after allegedly being tormented for more than a year. the bullying she endured continued even after her parents put her in a different school because the alleged bullies reached hervey ya smartphone. here sheriff judd explains why the charges against the two young girls in this case are so serious. >> bullying in and of itself is not a crime, but bullying makes up the predicate acts for stalking or aggravated stalking. the reason this is a felony, the
reason this is a third-degree felony as opposed to a misdemeanor is because our victim, rebecca, was only 12 years of age. >> while the guilt of the two alleged tormenters is for the court to decide, there is one fact that cannot be ignored -- rebecca ann was just 12 years old. and while the rates of cyberbullying are tough to track, suicide rates are not. suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24, and each day in our country there's an average of 5,400 suicide attempts by young people grades seven to 12. what is worse is that according to the authorities, the bullying rebecca endured was online for everyone to see on such sites as ask.fm, which allows those who choose to bully to be anonymous. and while anonymity may be a great tool for people to express themselves it can also have horrific consequences. as in the case of this 12-year-old girl. at the table, perry, executive director of stop cyberbullying
dot-org, paris lloyd, a 17-year-old high school senior who's part of teen angels, an online safety ambassador program for the wired kids project. shannon cuddle, who is managing director of anti-bullying initiative for garden state of equality. and carmen wong ulrich, who, like me, has a tween daughter. so let me start with you. these cases always sort of paralyze me with grief, but i want to put that down and ask what are the meaningful interventions that can happen to keep something like what happened with rebecca from occurring again? >> well, the only good thing about these cases is it causes us to pay attention. cyberbullying doesn't always kill, burr it always hurts. parents need to recognize that. kids have told us there are 68 different reasons they will not tell their parents they were cyberbullied. only 5% will ever tell their parents if they don't come to us because they can't trust us not to do the mama drama thing or
underreactor do whatever it is we think they're going to, do they have no place to go. we need to teach them that we are to be trusted, we can be their trusted adults and they can come to us or their aunt or uncle or teacher for help. if we give them help and we intervene soon, we can save lives. >> so as a parent here, is that the sort of thing you hear that, in fact, young people don't want to go to their parents or teachers about what's happening online? >> yeah. a lot of kids think if they go to a parent or teacher they won't believe them or they think the adult will think they're overexaggerating. it's important as a teen angel they know they can talk to us because they know as a teen or child we'll understand what they're saying and do what we can to make sure they're safe. >> do we as adults underestimate how painful and how important kind of -- the social media interactions are? in other words, do we say just ignore it, it's just facebook, it's just twitter or something? >> i think that that can happen with some adults just because
they think it's via technology you can be misinterpreting what someone's saying. but a lot of what people are saying does have malicious intent so they should know the kid might not be exaggerated. it might be a case of serious cyberbullying, that every possible threat should be taken seriously. >> sometimes i feel like in this conversation we go immediately to the individual. so this 12- and 14-year-old, you know, alleged bully tormenters here, that there's something wrong with them, something wrong with their households and potentially that the victims', you know, parents also weren't paying enough attention. and although clearly that matter, i also wonder again about the structural or the systemic big ways that we can make a difference. >> right. well, i think on the issue as a whole is that this is an issue that involves the collective community, that, you know, bullying is an everyone issue. and to give students the tools they need to give parents, the tools they need in order to combat bullying harassment, we have to come together as a
collective community. we have to be able to do prevention and intervention and be proactive and not be reactive all the time, you know. and i think a lot of times when we tackle this issue, schools and communities come at the back end instead of being at the fore front. >> you say on one hand bullying affects everybody, but not everybody, right? we know that the kinds of things that people tend to get bullied for have to do with socially marginal identities. >> sure. >> girls being shamed, girls and boys shamed around queer identity. we can say bullying is everyone's problem but some kids are much more vulnerable to it than others. >> right. the statistics show students of marginalized populations and those of lgbt students are at higher risk for experiencing bullying, harassment, in a variety of ways both on and off. i mean, when you have stats that show 8 out of 10 lgbt students experience bullying harassment and elsewhere 1 in 5 on average of all students experiencing bullying harassment, those are
clear signs that something needs to be done. >> i kept thinking as i was reading these stories, well, what else should young people think? given how adults behave, given what we just saw in congress, right, for our weeks on end, we are modeling nasty, bullying, name-calling behavior at the highest levels of how we participate. >> oh, absolutely. and my daughter's only in second grade and she's already come home to me with bullying, people bullying her. i'm so glad she can talk to me now. but i was encouraged, but this is second grade, let's see what happens later. what's terrifying me today is she's at the stage of what i'm seeing going forward, in terms of how she changed schools and thai still found her. technology and access to technology -- facebook just changed their rules allowing teens to be able to post publicly things. this means that access to these teens is almost as if -- and stalking is perfect in terms of thinking about how they get to you. so now there are more ways to
find you and to get a message to you that they want to get to you that parents have to be so incredibly tech savvy. and i plan on, like, hiring a hacker to hack everything and make sure that nobody -- but still even so, she's going to go to her friend's house, someplace else. they can get to you through the technology. so what is that? what is the responsibility of that? what can we do as parents to protect them? >> when we come back, i want to talk about exactly that because i allowed my kid to have one piece of social media which i'm skon assistantly and obsessively checking her social media thinking who has times for this. there are real challenges at the same time of being a responsible parent. ♪ [ male announcer ] staying warm and dry has never been our priority. our priority is, was and always will be serving you, the american people. so we improved priority mail flat rate
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enit comes to cyberbully, it's very, very important parents understand they're the first line of defense for either the person being bullied or the person doing the bullying. >> that was polk county, florida, sheriff grady judd, speaking about the first line of defense in preventing cyberbullying this that led to the suicide of 12-year-old rebecca ann. the latest developments may demonstrate while there was a lack of parental responsibility in this case, the mother of the 14-year-old arrested was herself arrested yesterday on two counts of child abuse with bodily harm and four counts of child neglect. these charges are unrelated to the sedwick bullying case but come after a video posted to facebook in july showing vosberg punching one of the fighting juveniles in the face and another in the back of his head and between his shoulders. if the mosm is on a facebook
video engaging in abuse, i keep asking what does justice look like in a case like this when you have a the arrest of a 12- and 14-year-old when the 14-year-old's parent isn't being treated well? >> i've known grady judd for years and he's an expert on cybercrimes and cyberbullying. he got an award in 2008. he knows this. he was not quick to judgment on this. he waited a long time i suspect to see if marnts were going to step up. this is a parent who didn't step up, and if parents don't you have no option but to look to somebody else, in this case, unfortunately, the sheriff's office had to play the parent. what do we do when our kids don't listen to us? that's one thing. when we don't try to care about getting them to listen to anybody? those are parent who is shouldn't be parents and maybe the best thing that would happen to this 14-year-old is is that that she's parented by someone else. >> a new environment. i got into big trouble talking about the possibility of our children belonging to all of us.
but i did feel as i was reading this case, like, yeah, we have a social interest in you not raising a sociopath because then it actually harms other vulnerable children. >> i just don't understand how we got into trouble for that because we are a community and if we don't start looking out for neighbors and family and people we know and people in the schools, everything's going to fall apart. all of us have to take responsibilities for ourselves and others, respecting others and self-respect. that's what it's all about. >> that's precisely what you do, you help to model that notion of empathy for other young people. what are the skills or tools you like to try to teach? >> one we like to teach people to not fight back. if you're being cyberbullied, we have something called take five, where you take five minute, get away from your computer, your phone, whatever, and calm down. that way you don't make any irrational decisions. and make sure people are educated because a lot of people don't know what to do if you are
cyberbullied. we give them resources such as wiredsafety.org and teach them to talk to another adult, another teenager to make sure you're safe. >> tell us about stop, block, and tell. >> when you stop what you're doing and block the person who is harassing you, cyberbullying you, and tell an aadult. that way you protect yourself and get whatever help necessary to make sure you're okay. >> i like the stop, block, and tell. you have a right to say actually you goent get to be in my cyberpace, you don't get to to be over here. are these the kind of tools that you think are sort of the effective interventions that we can have for young people? are there others that we need to be thinking about? >> sure. the first thing we need to do is make sure students are self-aware and, you know, that they hold the power, right, to create change, change the climate and culture of bullying and harassment. the other is making sure parents are informed. a lot of times parents themselves don't have a clear understanding of exactly what happens within the cyberworld, and specifically speaking into this case. i mean, just because somebody has a smartphone or a facebook
account they might not have ever learned how to be what digital citizen zip is, what modelling that behavior is. the next step after that is making sure your child's school -- what kind of parameters the school has set up. talk to your child's teacher, to your school principal, look at the student handbook. >> this ability to stop, block, and tell requires you first value yourself enough that you believe when someone is saying something ugly and awful to you that it's not true. that it is a bullying. and that part of clearly what's leading to the young people is the sense that somehow that is true, that they do deserve to die, that they are bad people. they are good enough to stop and block and tell.
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little girls and their dolls. the relationship is not just about playtime. it's about developing a sense of self, affirming what is beautiful and learning how to love and nurture. for a long time, little black girls can didn't have dolls that can looed like them to help teach these lessons. the first mass produced black baby doll patty jo was introduced in the 1940s and barbie in 196. check out her fro. over the years, barbie style dolls have generally walked waist length straight we haves. they represent only one version of beautiful. karen byrd was out shopping for
dolls with her daughters in her bay area neighborhood when she noticed just like her childhood toys, the dolls of today all had long straight hair. karen told us every culture is beautiful but if you don't have something that represents who you are, you kind of have a self-losting feeling like you're not as beautiful as everyone else. it's practically a rite of passage for little girls to look at their dolls and cut off their hair but karen an artist and natural hair blogger took it can doll hair into her own hands. she replaced or manipulated the original hair in order to create dolls like these and transformed her home office into a doll hair salon in 2011 and started with her own daughter's dolls and posted the results on facebook. requests to buy her stylized an dolls began rolling in from friends and family. today, karen's hobby is a booming full-fledged business called natural girls united. she gives dolls dues like locks
and afros and spiral curls and more than a dozen other styles. customers like sheree murphy who bought a doll for her daughter capitol be more pleased. she told us i'm so glad through karen's work my daughter and so many like her can see a reflection of themselves in these dolls and feel recognized but affirm that they are beautiful. for giving young girls like nia toys that reflect their natural beauty, for teaching young women of all ages to embrace their true crowning glory and for telling me what i'm buying for christmas this year, karen byrd is our foot soldier of the week. that is our show for today. thanks you for watching. tomorrow morning on the program, chipotle politics, how the restaurant chain is ruffling feathers throughout the food industry. coming up right now, "weekends with alex witt"". ♪
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forged papers to get out of prison who later returned to a jail to be fingerprinted. 15,000 workers won't get back pay after the shutdown, and i'm talking to one of those forgotten workers. in today's office politics, chris matthews. we talk whether it's better to be loved or feared as a politician. and the legal fight over a deadbeat dad declared dead almost two decades ago, now he wants to reverse his status but a judge won't let him. hello, everyone. it's high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. in the west. first up, that massive manhunt in florida for two escaped inmates serving sentences for murder. authorities are asking the public for help and offering $10,000 each for information leading to the capture of these twos dangerous fugitives they say walked out through prison gates. sarah is joining me now from